REVIEW: ‘Strange Adventures,’ Issue #7

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Strange Adventures #7

Strange Adventures #7 is published by DC Comics under the Black Label imprint, written by Tom King, with art by Mitch Gerads and Evan “Doc” Shaner and letters by Clayton Cowles. The Pykkt’s scouts have begun to appear on Earth. As the first clashes between the soon-to-be invaders and humanity begin,  Alanna inquires of Adam some questions that were raised by her conversation with Mr. Terrific in the last issue.

The human mind can exist as both an instrument that possesses great power while also possessing a fragility that makes it as breakable as an egg. When wielded properly, there are few limits to what a properly trained mind can accomplish. But, all it takes is one bad moment or the wrong application of emotional strain, and the mind can break as surely as any bone. And, once broken, a mind is not so easily mended. And unlike the injures that we experience physically, the mental traumas we bear can be so much easier to hide. Often as much from ourselves as others.

Strange Adventures #7 begins to reveal what feels like some key elements of Adam Strange’s history that up until now have lurked unseen. The focus of the past sections of this story feature Adam’s imprisonment, and subsequent torture, at the hands of the Pykkt. What Adam endures pushes him to the utter limits of what a mind can handle. And possibly beyond.

Meanwhile, in the present, scouting parties have begun to arrive, heralding the coming invasion of Earth. And Adam’s history with the world’s soon-to-be invaders is already causing friction between him and Earth’s heroes. As Adam approaches the hostiles’ presence like a soldier, this doesn’t jive with the usual “no killing code” of heroes like Batman.

While not on the front lines, Strange Adventures #7 turns its focus to Adam and Alanna while they relax at home. Though the mood doesn’t remain relaxed for long. Alanna takes this moment of quiet to ask Adam about certain concerns that have been building in her mind since her conversation with Mr. Terrific.

This emotional conversation delivers one of those moments that King’s writing excels at. The hard truths that come out are both believable as well as unforeseen. I was thoroughly surprised by what was said and wondered at things left unsaid as well.

Strange Adventures #7’s art continues its run of delivering a great visual presentation, even as it delves into some visual styles that are new to the story. Adam’s torture at the hands of the Pykkt creates some harsh moments for the character that can only be described visually as trippy.

Along with the continuing consistency of the art is equally consistent lettering work. Cowles’s solid and straightforward work once again shows itself to be a perfect fit for this narrative.

When all is said and done, Strange Adventures #7 delivers a strong story that has a lot of character while beginning to build its overall narrative for its endpoint. It feels like the bombs, both emotional as well as literal, are about to start dropping. I just hope King and company can hit their marks.

Strange Adventures #7 is available December 1st wherever comics are sold.

Strange Adventures #7
4.5

TL;DR

When all is said and done, Strange Adventures #7 delivers a strong story that has a lot of character while beginning to build its overall narrative for its endpoint. It feels like the bombs, both emotional as well as literal, are about to start dropping. I just hope King and company can hit their marks.